Madurai: Former union minister and expelled DMK leader MK Alagiri, against whom a case had been booked for allegedly grabbing land belonging to a local temple, on Thursday said he was not aware that it belonged to the temple and offered to give it back to them.
He made this submission after temple Executive officer R Jeyaraman submitted before Madras High Court bench that the 44 cents of land purchased by the Alagiri Educational trust for Dhaya Engineering college belonged to the temple, coming under purview of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Act.
The land was a 'Minor Inam land' granted for support of the temple at Sivarakottai. The statutory Patta (land document) granted by the settlement Tahsildhar also stood in the temple's name. The title, right and possession and enjoyment of the property in question was with the temple, the officer said.
He charged that the accused, including Alagiri, who knew that the land belonged to the temple, had fabricated documents by putting another patta number during registration relating to some other property and another person, with an intent to grab the land and cheat the temple.
If the Patta number had been quoted as earlier, then the property would not have been registered at all.
The officer said no one could create document for the temple property and make the right of the temple extinguished. The decrees regarding the land had been obtained ex-parte without the knowledge of the HR&CE department.
He said his complaint had made out cognizable offences and was supported by material evidence. Fabricating documents and grabbing of temple lands could by no stretch of imagination be termed as civil dispute, he said.
Seeking to quash the FIR in the case,Alagiri alleged that due to 'political vengeance' the HR&CE department had lodged a complaint to District Crime Branch, which had not ascertained the facts and filed the case under various sections of the IPC including 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) and 467 (forgery of valuable security).
On Alagiri's offer to return the land for quashing the FIR, Government counsel said it had to be considered by the department concerned and the same could not be insisted upon.
HR&CE said in its complaint said the management of Dhaya Engineering College, owned by M K Alagiri Educational Trust, had grabbed the land belonging to the temple. On their complaint, DCB registered an FIR on Aug 28.
After hearing both parties, Justice K Kalyanasundaram reserved his orders on the anticipatory bail petition filed by Alagiri relating to the case.